On a Writing Life

On this final day of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge, I’m thinking about how all the threads of my writing life connect. 

This year I began an MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and I’ve committed to reading and writing at least 25 hours a week—both critical and creative projects. 

As a co-author at Two Writing Teachers, I’m posting at least once a month on topics connected to the teaching of writers. 

Slice of life writing (almost) daily during the month of March and on as many Tuesdays as possible across the year (not enough Tuesdays, but I’m working on it) add another layer. 

A sane person with healthy boundaries would probably take one or more of these writing pieces off their plate, but I love all these parts of my writing life for different reasons. Each layer gives me an opportunity to exercise different writing muscles. 

Each thread challenges me to be open and constantly on the lookout for ideas for writing, whether that’s instructional inspiration from teaching or coaching, a creative spark for a picture book or novel, or that flash during the day that I can imagine playing out as a slice of life story on the page. 

Crafting such a wide variety of pieces requires intentionality. Purpose, audience, and craft are always front of mind when moving between so many projects. I’m constantly making decisions as a writer that can only sharpen my skills across all types of writing. 

So while it might feel at times as if all I do is write. . . I know this is how I will continue to grow. This is what it means to pursue the writing life I need to feel like myself, and I am all in.

Every day in the month of March, I’m blogging with the team at Two Writing Teachers Blog as part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge.

16 Comments

  1. edifiedlistener

    I find this a refreshing and useful way to think about how we can pursue many different kinds of writing simultaneously: Each layer gives me an opportunity to exercise different writing muscles.” Yes, building and developing different writing muscles. That absolutely speaks to me and my writing experiences. I hope our paths continue to cross along our writing journeys.

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  2. djvichos

    How awesome you’re pursuing your MFA! I can see how all this writing practice has shaped you and helped you to live the writerly life. Thanks for all of your dedication to supporting the TWT community. I really appreciate it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. evarkaplan

    You truly are a lifelong learner and writer! You are an inspirational to us all. Thank you ( and your co-authors!) for your creativity, dedication and involvement with TWT because it has enriched me so very much…. as it has this writing community! Much success with your MFA program and your gazillion writing endeavors!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lainie Levin

    Well…WE are the ones who are all the luckier for it. Your thoughtful posts, the time and effort and heart you put into TWT. I can say for my part that I’m deeply appreciative. I’m also excited for you as you work through your MFA. Perhaps it does sound like a lot, and perhaps that does seem nervous-making. It makes me think about a storytelling partner of mine. Whenever we did work with students, we would have a penny set where the kids took the stage. It was their reminder that fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin…

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  5. Morgan

    I love the line, “A sane person with healthy boundaries would probably take one or more of these writing pieces off their plate…” Because to read this is to know how absolutely sane you are to recognize the complexity in this confession. I love that you are making space for what matters.

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  6. sallydonnelly11

    I so enjoyed learning more about how you choose to spend your time. I liked how you name these three aspects of writing: Purpose, audience, and craft iThose 3 words are sticking with me and your confident ending – I’m al in.

    I do love this community which I joined 8 years ago and which is why I loved dining with you and a long table of slicers at 2020 NCTE Baltimore. I hope someday soon, slicers can meet in person again. FInally, thanks for using my slice as the Be Inspired slice yesterday. YOU made my day!!! Such an honor!! Good luck with all your writing endeavors!!

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    1. Amy Ellerman

      Oh, I remember that slicer dinner in Baltimore! Such a fun time–although I have to admit, it was my first TWT event and I was a bit overwhelmed! Thank you for being such a dedicated member of the TWT community. I look forward to the day when we can meet up in person again.

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